January 15, 2008
ANIMAL rights campaigners brought a fur seminar at Hong Kong Fashion Week to a sudden halt after they hijacked the event, shouting slogans and waving banners.
Two women from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an international animal welfare group, suddenly stood up in the middle of the seminar attended by 100 people from the fashion industry, chanting "Fur is Murder".
They struggled to unfold banners reading "Fur Hurts" before being pinned down by security guards and dragged out of the room.
Once outside, the activists stripped off to reveal two banners - on their front and back - that read: "We'd rather go naked than wear fur" and "Turn your back on animal cruelty".
PETA campaigner and spokeswoman Rebecca Chui said: "We want the Fashion Week attendees to know that fur means cruelty to animals. They suffer terrible pain from the time they are caught.
"Some of them are skinned alive. Some are killed by poisoning, gassing or anal or vaginal electrocution. We are in the 21st century and there is fur substitute now. There's no excuse to kill any more animals," she said.
In a statement, the Hong Kong Fur Federation called PETA's views about the fur industry "one-sided" and "extremely regrettable".
"Hong Kong Fur Federation believes legal, fair and reasonable communications will help build a constructive dialogue between the industry and animal concern groups," it said.
The federation stressed that the industry only used the fur of wild animals and those raised on farms bound by international regulations and laws. It added that all farmed animals were properly treated, well fed and housed in good and healthy conditions.